Monday, March 6, 2017

Comparison vs Happiness

"In the game of life, you're competing exclusively against yourself." The February message on my Get Your Shit Together by Sarah Knight calendar.

You know those moments where you read a line in a book or maybe hear a song and think: "Yeah, that really relates to me in this very moment?"
Well the above quote is exactly what I needed to have reiterated two days after my birthday. A day that was half spent crying over what I thought I should have and have yet to accomplish.

I'm not even entirely sure how it happened; the day started with my sister's kid getting on my nerves (he's my main trigger so no real surprise there) and resulting in me thinking "Screw this I'm going back to bed and watch Golden Girls (which is something I do every Sunday). Later I went online thanked the few people who sent messages on Facebook, talked with my cousin, found a list of musicians who died at the age of 27, thought to myself: "Well if I make it past this year at least I'll be doing better than them."
(Sadly true. Before the age of 25 I'd watch an old movie and think how weird it was that that actor was my age at the time. I turned 26 I can only find ones that died at that age.)

All of a sudden, I don't know what hit me, but next thing I know I'm back in bed bursting into tears. Repeatedly. Because the tears didn't really last too long and I'd tell myself to stop the negative thinking, but then it would all just flood back.
At some point the tears changed from negative thinking to What the hell?! Am I really spending my birthday doing this?!
Apparently yes.
The day ended and I told myself to try and process the next day and then just move on.
I did. (Though I'm still a little upset about wasting the day.)

Two weeks later, my Valentine's Day post for Twitter:

(Yes I also had a moment on Christmas Eve, caused by something I read, ironically made better by social media. Thank you to the authors who apparently knew there was someone like me out there.)

But, hey February 14; FINALLY a day where I couldn't care less about what's "missing" in my life!


You always hear or see reports going on about how social media is ruining your own life, and how it can usually cause unhappiness because, maybe even without noticing, you'll start comparing your own life to the "fabulous" life that person you haven't even seen in years claims to be living.

I see these articles, totally agree with them, but still continue to let it run me.

The worst part is: I know I'm doing it.

I know I'm doing it and I'm constantly telling myself to stop. Not just the comparison but the search of something to compare to. (Not that I go on Facebook with that in mind.)

Christmas 2015 and last Valentine's I did my best to avoid Facebook because I just knew someone was going to get engaged and I didn't really want to hear about it.
No one did. Not until a few month later. Pro: I totally called it! Con: Why did I care!?
I'm pretty sure my response was a few steps short of jealous ex-girlfriend. Which is kind of funny because I don't think I'd have acted like that had it been an ex.

I have no problem admitting when I'm jealous, so I don't think that's entirely the case here. It's simply comparing my life with that of this person who feels the need to go on about everything they do. And I do mean go on.
It's like an Oscars acceptance speech. At some point you want to yell: "Play them out already!"
You had a cold and your significant other took such great care of you; you don't need to make a speech to the whole world about it.
Another one that bugs me; going on about how much a person means to you on their birthday. Um, did you ever think of saying it to their face? Maybe write it on a card so they'll have something to hold on to?

Those two really are just annoyances, I've never been left wanting with those. But to take it back to my point now that I mention them: Birthdays. I'm not about to go back and count how many messages I got for mine, that'd be a whole new level of sad. And I don't mean the emotion. But I do know I didn't get as many messages as I did last year, which is saying a lot because I never get too many. Never a big deal because I know I've been forgettable all my life. (My mom would have to call my own sister to tell her to call me.)

With that thought in mind, I spent the day after my birthday processing and came to the conclusion: these are not friends. They're people I barely know. So why am I comparing my life to them?

If they want me to know something they can call me and tell me personally, or even send me a message on Facebook*. My sister (yes the one whose kid is my trigger and needed to be reminded to call for birthdays. I only have one) not only got engaged but also married without telling me. Everyone on Facebook knew though.
Yes it did hurt to be lumped in with random high school 'friends' and have it assumed that I would just see those posts. (I was kind of busy taking care of the trigger she left me with.)

I don't want to be another random person among your 500+ friends. I need a real relationship and want conversations that don't consist of "Didn't you see my post?" Tell me what's happening in your world! (Just don't show me a whole freakin' photo album off your phone. I wasn't invited to the wedding but still have to fake nice through the pictures? That is the only request I make concerning Facebook, you want to share pictures post them and I'll look- or ignore- them at my own leisure.)

I have since turned Facebook off from my phone and have only been on once or twice a week for quick scrolls and a few random (because that's really all I do) posts when my mind wanders. Baby steps.
I would have taken Twitter off too but really that's the only way I know what's going on in the world.

I'm also doing the whole list the good in your life that is always suggested in these situations.

It has been a month and I'm still working on it, unfortunately a few days last week I spent a lot of time reading posts on Whisper, so I'm still reading posts just from random strangers. But like I said baby steps.

I may not have let go of it entirely yet, but I'm not going back until I find and spend some time in the real world.
I'm gonna go find something worth bragging about!
And then not brag about it.



*I do still read messages there.

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